Hospitality businesses are continuing to make a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint during the recession, with almost one in five claiming the downturn has in fact accelerated their plans.
A survey by the Low Carbon Innovation Network revealed that almost half of businesses have not been deterred by the economic crisis in their plans to actively reduce their carbon output.
Eighty-five per cent of companies claimed to actively motivate their staff to consider their carbon footprint, despite citing the action as the biggest hurdle faced in their climate change strategy.
When it came to influencing others to reduce their carbon output as well, two-thirds of hospitality businesses claimed to extend their ethos to their customers, while 75 per cent claimed to actively influence their suppliers too.
John Neame, director of the Low Carbon Innovation Network, said businesses should share their carbon reduction ideas to achieve the best results across the industry. “Carbon reduction is now a major issue for most organisations and our members are united in the view that sharing best practice makes an important contribution in the quest to reduce emissions,” he said.
The figures come just months after tourism minister Barbara Follett called for hospitality businesses to be more environmentally responsible in order to secure the long-term future of the industry. She suggested that businesses make greener structural improvements their buildings, source food and employees locally, and promote non-seasonal events to encourage the use of facilities all year round.
Respondents to the survey cited replacing boilers, reducing water use, reducing food waste and increasing training of current employees as the most popular ideas for companies to further reduce their carbon footprint over and above their current activities.